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From an estrogenic perspective... Karyn 
Posted by: Karyn at 11:06 PM EST on 6/30/2005
File Under: Movies -> Cinema -> Review

I have just gotten back from seeing Batman Begins, and as usual, I find myself disagreeing with Tim! Well, maybe not about everything. But, this movie really has me quite torn. During a lot of it, I was thinking it would be my favorite movie of the year. In retrospect, not so much. Here are my top 4 reasons I loved it, and the top 4 reasons I couldn't love it quite enough:

1) Seeing the incredibly kickass Batmobile careening around on the streets and bridges I use to walk to work every day. Chicago makes a damn good Gotham city, and I had a blast picking out the buildings, stores, and parking garages I recognized.

2) Watching it in an IMAX theater. I've never felt so involved in a movie in my life. Part of that was the gripping character study of Batman, and the other part was that the screen was huge. When Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes out there, I'm all over that shit.

3) The actors. Everyone does a fantastic job, though I wish Morgan Freeman had more screen time. Christian Bale realizes his slightly tarnished Batman in a chilling fashion. I agree that the playboy was not as evident, but I think that's the storyline's fault more than the actor. But, here is one of my disagreements with Tim: Katie Holmes. I like her, I think she's good. If we're living in a world where billionaires can run away for 7 years and there are secret societies in the mountains, surely we can accept the fact that a woman with a heart of gold can survive into her 20s and be a lawyer. Plus, Batman needs a good friend who knew him before in order to keep him honest. And she has to be a girl so she can get rescued.

4) The story. Let me say that I am not a Batman snob. Not only did I not have the sheets or the outfit, I didn't even watch the TV show. I've picked up some things by osmosis, but I really know nothing, and I still loved it. The psychological tale of Batman is one that I can really sink my teeth into.

Could have done without:
1) The weapon of mass destruction. I hate spoilers too, so I'll just say that there was a dimension about it that had me puzzled for most of the movie. But, suspension of disbelief and whatnot.

2) The last quarter of the movie. I was totally into it, Batman psychology, and then they had to go and have a bunch of stupid fighting scenes that I didn't care about. Yes, hello, I am a girl. I also disagree with Tim on the camera work during the fights. Some near the end could have been clearer, but the early ones are excellent. Yes, it may have been cooler for everyone to see some badass martial arts, but I say rent a Jackie Chan movie. The confusion of the fighting scenes is an excellent method of showing you that Bruce Wayne doesn't fight specific people, he fights the idea of criminality. And once Batman is fully fleshed out, he fights in shadows, rarely seen. That is basically the whole idea of him, at least to me. But anyway, I kind of zoned out during the end and stared at the city in the background. I wish I wouldn't have had to do that.

3) The lack of villain time. Yes, I understand this is Batman Begins, but come on. I need some time with the evil people, too. Villains are my favorite part of movies, and these guys did not get enough time to talk about destroying the universe (or small portions of it).

4) The horrible flashback to Star Wars III. This story was everything that Star Wars should have been. Batman Begins reminded me of the greatness that George Lucas could have achieved. Batman and Darth Vader both have horrible stuff happen to them in their childhood, both have power (either magical or monetary) beyond anyone else, and both make a choice. Darth Vader is apparently schizophrenic and thinks if he believes one evil thing, might as well believe them all, and turns into a lunatic. Batman chooses to differ on only a few, but key points, and is a normal person. Do we see the difference? *sigh* I'm so bitter.

My final thought is: See this movie, even if you're a girl. You'll like it, and Christian Bale is hot anyway. Despite that second list up there, this is probably my favorite movie of the year. Believe me, it's saying saying something when I'll admit to enjoying something that Tim does too. However, I'm sure it will be replaced by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which will later be replaced by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. And if you want to meet me at the IMAX in Chicago for that one, I'll be the one shivering in anticipation at the box office!
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